First, let's check out my blog worthy kids: Blue got her 12 year molars, lost her last baby teeth, and got her first big girl, salon hair cut! While I waited for her I imagined being a salon stylist... chit chat, clip clip, spray spray, other peoples scalps, barf barf.
Yesterday some lady at the grocery check-out line said, "I've seen you two around the store today, and you're little boy is certainly very well behaved. He pushes that cart so well!"
"Ohmygosh!!! Thank you so much. People always comment and notice when they're out of line. Such a nice change of pace! THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU!!!" Tears, kisses, falling on floor, wiping her feet with my hair and anointing oils. She did seem a little put off by that last move, however.
And then the Cashier says, as we're leaving. "He really is a very well behaved little boy." Thanks!! Tralalallala.
But wait. Does this mean I'm being too hard on them? I try to go easy, to trust in their innate goodness, to remind myself that children generally WANT to please their parents. But what if I'm too strict? I mean, not much candy, no tv, outside play is required for about an hour a day, regardless of weather. Is their behavior even my fault at all, good or bad? Were they just born good? Obviously yes, but I mean, especially good?
Then I had blood drawn, and Coyote got an EXTRA sticker for being so amazing!! But I didn't get ANY stickers and I almost passed out. I was so brave to keep my consciousness well in hand! I bought myself a Fizzy Izzy. Who needs those damn stickers anyway? Just ruin your clothes if you forget to take them off before they go into the laundry.
Then: here's the big one!! His teacher begged me to allow him to stay for six hours a day. She claims he's one of the smartest kids she's had in her 25 years in Montessori and that she wants to do much more with him than she can squeeze into the three hours he's currently got. And she's frantic that I send him to first grade next year. She even grabbed my elbow and said, "I can't seem to make you understand what kind of child you have here!!" I internally replied, "A child! A small child with child emotions and child needs that must be considered as well as his intellect." Then she said, she also needs him as a social anchor, since he's impervious to peer pressure, has an extra-ordinary attention span, and is a calming presence on the other kids. She NEEDS him. They worked with us to fit it into our budget. And I will gratefully do their gardening this spring.
What am I doing with him for those three afternoon hours? He runs errands, an occasional park swing, and then after that, he basically lays around. He's no longer interested in playdoe and moon sand. He's no longer two and endlessly entertained by the tupperware bin. He helps wash dishes sometimes. We play chess and Sorry and Uno and Monopoly. I clean the kitchen while he lays in front of the heater. Honestly, I'm having a hard time keeping him entertained at home. But I'm sad. If he goes, who will I coddle and dote on and cheer for?
Homeschooling. It keeps coming up. It was my ideal. And then I had Blue. We fought over an E. She called it an F. This went on for days. And that is how I knew that homeschooling would not be for us. And what of Coyote? He's mellow. He's malleable. And he's got me wrapped around his little finger so tight I can barely breath. I do what I can. But I still tell him, when he asks, that 12 is 12 despite knowing he's long subtracting at school. And I still can't seem to make him wipe his own butt. So, you see, I don't think I am the best person to cajole him to his highest achievements. I'm his mom. Our home is his place of relaxation and comfort, not the place where he takes on new challenges and soars into long division. His mother is his sofa, potato chips, and a good book. Not a fire under his ass. That's just not how god made me.
So good little Coyote got a popsicle reward for dinner (!!!!!!), played his favorite game on Kongregate.com (!!!!!!) and fell asleep with a wide wide grin on his good little angel face.
If you've been reading this blog for any length of time, you know that any great news comes with a massive exestential crisis. I was already in the middle of this one. And this kicked it up a notch.
Perhaps you are one of the throngs of people that would like to know where-oh-where did my career asprirations go. I am looking for them too. Two years ago, after five years as a paralegal, I was visiting law schools, studying for the LSATs, reading Supreme Court history, and screaming through legal tomes. I'd interviewed leading attorney's and law professors in my preferred field. And then this whole crazy thing with Huck and the economy happened. And we moved five times and panicked a thousand. And over the past year and half the whole vision has just imploded. Now I'm near a Yale priced law school that has never appealed to me what with its Montana rating. I hopped in to use their bathroom (it's right on this urban trail) and I got no chills, no thrills. Nothing. Nothing registered except, "What a big fancy building. So that's what they do with your 30k a year."
I tried to jazz myself up for working by riffling through the Working Mother magazine at the kids dentist last week. Unfortunately, every single article was about how to manage the stress of it all. EVERY ARTICLE. And that's all I remember of working, the hectic home life squeezed in around it. The rushing. The constant illnesses due to stress. I caught every single cold and flu that even wafted threateningly in the direction of the Inland Northwest. Ick. Ick. Ick. I hated not having time for the quarter merry-go-round in front of the grocery store. And now I do. And I've only had one flu, mildly, this whole year of not working (oh please oh please don't jinx me!).
People who knew me well two years ago are asking questions. Including Huck. No one's critical (that role is still open if you want it!)... just curious.
Now I'll have no excuse to be out of shape. To let the house go to crap. To not get a job. To not meditate. To not go to law school (except for $ and time -which would be WAY more that 23 hours a week).
I keep trying to think of something useful to do. But every time I attach money to these things, I loose interest. I like money. A lot. But I want to have a giant garden. But not a Farmer's Market booth. I want to milk my cows, but not sell the milk. I want to draw and make my cards, but not hunt down venues for their sale any more. I want to write but not about anything that doesn't fascinate me. I'm a Dutch woman, therefore I value utility in a life, not futility. Unfortunately, it looks like I'm just going to do what I futilely want to do and we are all going to have to shut up about my uselessness. Or be encouraging.
Maybe I need a really long break before I get juiced up again. Maybe I'm pointing in all the wrong directions and until I'm pointed in the right one, I'll spinning my wheels. Maybe I am doing something now that will eventually pull me into my place in this world, one that will bring us both great joy. Maybe I am doing exactly what I was meant to do.
I confessed to one of my philosophy professors once that all I wanted out of life was an office with a great view and to be paid to sit in it and think. He assured me that if anyone could get that, I could. I didn't believe him.
I don't have a good view in my office (in every room but the office there's a good view). And I'm not getting paid. But now, I could, conceivably, just sit around thinking! And won't you be the lucky beneficiary! I might even have time to figure out why I can't upload pics anymore. Lucky. Lucky. Us.